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February 27, 2020

South Africa
History's Verdict Thirty Years After South Africa's Mandela Freed

Thirty years after State President F.W. de Klerk ordered his release from Cape Town’s Victor Vorster Prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation as a genuine hero of the twentieth century holds up. With F.W. de Klerk and others, Mandela led the successful transition with the ANC from apartheid to non-racial democracy, forestalling the race war that many thought was inevitable.

A tall man in a purple polo shirt puts his arms around the shoulders of a shorter woman in a white shirt as she holds his shoulder. They both look at the statue of Nelson Mandela, raising his hands and smiling, in a small crowd of people. The statue is flanked by two towers attached to building with roman columns.

October 29, 2019

Nigeria
Beyond the Nigerian Correctional Services Act

Nigeria’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. Prisons are overcrowded, holding 73,314 people despite having capacity for only 50,153. Of those held, an estimated 70 percent are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime; reports find that some people have been awaiting trial for as long as thirteen years. The chronic underfunding of the justice system exacerbates overcrowding and pre-trial detention.

A Lady Justice statue stands outside the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Nigeria

September 18, 2019

South Africa
Why South Africa's Ramaphosa Is Skipping UNGA

Ramaphosa announced that he will not be going to New York this year for UNGA. South Africa’s delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. Ramaphosa says that, instead of attending UNGA, he will focus on a number of crises currently facing the country. He will work on implementing measures against gender-based violence and public violence, which almost certainly refers to the xenophobic attacks on foreigners.

Demonstrators hold signs, one of which reads "Just Want to Feel Safe."

September 6, 2019

Zimbabwe
Good Riddance to Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe

During his thirty-seven years in power in Zimbabwe, he committed virtually every human rights violation there is. His hands were awash in the blood of Zimbabweans. Fanning and exploiting racial and class differences, he destroyed the country’s economy, once on the cusp of being one of Africa’s most developed, driving out commercial white farmers. By the time he died, Zimbabwe was an international pariah, an economic basket case, and many or most of the country’s most educated and productive citizens had left the country.

Robert Mugabe stands in front of a blurred out, saluting soldier.

August 27, 2019

South Africa
One More Step in Dismantling Apartheid's Legacy

On August 21, South Africa’s Equality Court ruled that gratuitous displays of the Apartheid-era flag counted as hate speech and discrimination. Confronting history head on, Judge Phineas Mojapelo wrote in his ruling that the flag represents “a vivid symbol of white supremacy and black disenfranchisement and suppression,” and flying it, “besides being racist and discriminatory, demonstrates a clear intention to be hurtful.” 

South Africa's apartheid-era flag flutters in front of three black police officers.

June 14, 2019

United States
Happy Birthday to the U.S. Army!

The United States Army celebrates its 244th birthday today. If you see an active duty, former, or retired member of the United States Army today, wish their service Happy Birthday. The Army websit…

Army Band New York City Parade

May 6, 2019

South Africa
Background to South Africa's National Elections on May 8

On May 8, South Africans will vote in national elections for the sixth time since the end of apartheid and the transition to “non-racial” elections in 1994. While there are forty-eight political parties contesting, only three have a reasonable chance of forming a government. They are the ANC, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

SouthAfricaElection

April 23, 2019

South Africa
Despite Challenges, South Africa’s ANC Likely to Remain in Power

The African National Congress (ANC) has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid and the transition to “non-racial” democracy in 1994. It has won more than 60 percent of vote in every national election since, though its share of the vote has been steadily declining. In a country fractured by race in which blacks—about 80 percent of the population—are much poorer than whites—about 9 percent—race is the largest factor in voting behavior.

Sotuh-Africa-Ramaphosa-Campaign-ANC

December 28, 2018

Global
Ten World Figures Who Died in 2018

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2018 who shaped U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figu…

Kofi Annan addresses a news conference UN headquarters in New York, 1997. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen.

December 27, 2018

United States
Ten American Foreign Policy Influentials Who Died in 2018

Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes, and assessing failures. It is also time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten Americans who died in 2018 who through…

President George H.W. Bush greets troops in Saudi Arabia during a 1990 Thanksgiving visit.